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Authentic Chinese Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu is a popular food in Chinese cuisine that has originated from Sichuan. To enjoy Tofu, prepare it today at home by going through the Mapo Tofu recipe.

August 11, 2021
Mapo TofuPhoto By Canva
Difficulty Medium
Servings 4-6 people
Preparation 12 mins
Cooking 18 mins
Total 30 mins



  1. Mix a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper powder in a small bowl. Rest it aside.
  2. Cut the tofu into medium-sized cubes. Do it carefully so that it does not get broken.
  3. Heat some water in a saucepan. Add a pinch of salt to it. When it starts boiling, add the tofu to it. Cook for 2 minutes and take the tofu cubes out of it. Drain the water of the tofu.
  4. Heat a pan and add 3 tbsp of cooking oil to it. Add the ground meat. Fry the meat in it until it gets brown. Take the meat out.
  5. Add the doubanjiang into the oil and fry for 1-2 minutes. When it turns red, add the dou-chi, garlic, ginger, and chopped scallions to it. Cook for a minute. When it gives its aroma, add water to it.
  6. Then, add the soy sauce, sugar, and half of the cooked meat to it. When the water starts boiling, let it simmer for around 4 minutes. After that, add the tofu to it. Add the chili oil and pepper flakes, too.
  7. Prepare the starch water now. Add the cornstarch to 250 ml of water. Mix it well and add it to the pan. Again let it simmer for more than 10 minutes.
  8. Add the rest of the meat and mix it well. Taste it to find if the mix requires some salt. If it does, add some salt as needed.
  9. Drizzle some sesame oil into it and mix well. Now, sprinkle some Sichuan peppercorn and again mix it well with all the whole ingredients.
  10. Your Mapo Tofu is ready to get served now. Try to serve immediately after preparing, when it is hot.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Mapo Tofu
Serves 4-6
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43 g55.1%
Cholesterol 38 mg12.7%
Protein 25 g50%
Sodium 1070 mg46.5%
Potassium 760 mg16.2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • Try to use Pixian Doubanjiang in the market. You can get it in an Asian or a Chinese market. Pixian is a county in Sichuan that produces the best broad bean paste in China. So, adding this to the recipe will make the taste better.
  • Based on the different brands of broad beans, the saltiness and the spiciness of Mapo Tofu vary. So, always try to add only 2 tablespoons of Doubanjiang to the recipe if the brand of it is new to you.
  • It will be best if you add some homemade chili oil to it. The market-bought chili oils are not as good as the homemade ones.
  • You can preserve the extra chili oil in an airtight container for around 2 and half months if you refrigerate it. You can use this chili oil in multiple Chinese dishes like dan dan noodles, bang bang chicken, etc.
  • Serve Mapo Tofu with rice as these two are a very good combination together.
  • Soak the tofu in some boiling water and add some salt to it. It helps the tofu to get strong and it will not get broken while preparing the dish.
  • Both the doubanjiang and dou-chi make the preparation salty. So, before adding salt to the preparation, taste it and then add salt accordingly.
Rate This Recipe

Mapo Tofu is a versatile dish that you can adjust according to your taste. The extremely spicy Chinese dish has made its appearance out of Sichuan, rather than out of China long ago. And now the Mapo Tofu lovers can be found at any corner of the world. Mapo Tofu is an excellent course for lunch or dinner. If you are in love with authentic Chinese then Mapo Tofu is going to lure you with its aroma for sure.

What Is Mapo Tofu?

Mapo Tofu is a traditional Sichuan Chinese spicy dish that is world-famous for its authentic Chinese taste. Mapo Tofu is a Chinese traditional dish that started its journey in the Sichuan province of China. It used to exist in 1254 and that makes it an old dish. Mapo Tofu is very popular worldwide for its spicy taste. It is a tasty tofu dish. In Mapo Tofu, the word 'Mapo' means pockmarked grandma. The translation of the whole name is pockmarked grandma's beancurd.

The tofu gets set in a red spicy sauce. The sauce is usually thin in consistency and very much oily. The sauce is prepared from fermented broad beans(Doubanjiang), fermented black beans( Dou-chi), and chili paste. The Sichuan peppercorns are another important ingredient. It enhances the taste of Mapo Tofu. The other ingredients are green onions, garlic, and Chinese rice wine. You can add some ground meat like pork, beef, chicken, or turkey to it. By not adding meat, you can prepare vegetarian Mapo Tofu also. You can also add some green like spinach to it. To replace meat with mushrooms as well.

Is Mapo Tofu Healthy? Yes, Mapo Tofu is healthy and the dish is full of nutrition.

What Kind of Tofu For Mapo Tofu? Any kind of soft tofu is perfect to prepare Mapo Tofu.

What To Serve With Mapo Tofu?

Steamed Rice: Rice is the best choice to serve with Mapo Tofu, and especially steamed rice. To enhance the flavor, you can saute the rice with cumin and cardamom.

Garlic Bread: If you are looking for a perfect dinner combo then, then cheesy garlic bread and mapo tofu is your go-to choice.

Here are some of our delicious recipes you can serve with Mapo Tofu:

How To Store Mapo Tofu?

Mapo Tofu can easily be stored in a refrigerator for 3-4 days, but make sure it's sealed in an air-tight container. If you are planning to store it for a week, then you should freeze it in a zip-lock wrap. To reheat the dish, first, defrost it at room temperature then microwave it for 8-10 minutes.

What Are The Variations Of Mapo Tofu?

Mapo Tofu can be both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

  • Non-veg Mapo Tofu: In the non-vegetarian variations you can add ground chicken, beef, and pork.
  • Vegetarian Mapo Tofu: While preparing vegetarian Mapo Tofu, add some vegetables like cabbage, tomatoes, garlic, etc, to it, pumpkin especially goes well with Mapo Tofu.
Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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